The Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) has been unable to rectify the mistakes, and residents, eager to avail of the 5% rebate, have been struggling to obtain their receipts for payments made online, while visiting counters to get challans is proving a futile exercise too, since they are being directed to the zonal commissioners. Residents have only till April 30 to avail of the discount on the tax.
GK Naik, a retired professor in Dharwad, said that he paid the property tax online through netbanking on April 23. “But I am yet to get the receipt and I am getting worried. I have also been checking my account to see if the amount I paid in tax has been reimbursed. When I inquired about it by calling the HDMC control room, I am not getting a proper response,” Naik told TOI.
Harshvardhan Sheelavant, an environmentalist, said that digitisation of administration had been reduced into a hollow catchphrase as far as the HDMC was concerned. “We have to wait in long queues for hours together at the counter. Even then, the personnel there complain of not being able to generate the challan, and suggests we submit an application. They then tell us to return a week later, and we are forced to run from pillar to post. The clerk for the section is not there when we need him,” Sheelavant rued.
Mahalaxmi lashed out at the HDMC for its poor management of the entire process. “This is chaos. We are often told that our applications are lost, and officials insist on another submission. HDMC itself must be held responsible for violation of Covid-19 regulations,” she said.
HDMC commissioner Gurudutt Hegde said that he was unaware of the glitches in the online portal. “Since I took charge only recently, I am not familiar with the problems. But I will inquire about this with the officials concerned and ensure that the entire process is streamlined at the earliest. Regarding the hurdles that the citizens are facing whilst paying the tax online, I will instruct the zonal commissioners to see that residents are not inconvenienced. I have also written to the government seeking extension of the rebate on the property tax till the end of June. We are awaiting the government’s response,” he said.